Friday, May 05, 2006

Back from my Break

I have decided to come back from my blogger's break a little early. I was going to wait until Sunday, but I need somewhere to vent, so here I am. I have also decided to continue writing in the manner to which you have become accustomed. That means I am still going to use this blog like a diary. I don't care if people like it or don't like it. I started this blog for me and ultimately that's what I want to use it for. I'm going to try very hard not to obsess over who's reading(or commenting). (I said try, O.K.?) I wish I could tell you all that my week got better after my last post, but sadly, it did not. I have been sinking ever so slowly into a depressive state since last Sunday. I even started my period and it still didn't help. I have been feeling lousy(physically). Really lousy. I wasn't able to put my finger on exactly what was wrong, I just didn't feel right. I have been retaining a lot of water lately. That means my ankles and feet are swollen quite a bit. My face is puffy in the morning when I get up. My eyes have been extremely swollen, but I thought that was from the amount of crying I had been doing. I've been doing a lot of crying. When I get up, in the shower, in the car, at work(the kid's saw me once), on the way home, as I fall asleep. A lot of crying. Joe is worried. I think he has cause to be. We've been fighting. That is not normally something we do a lot of, and it doesn't feel good.
My back has been hurting. I have been walking in kind of a hunched over position for the last two days. I thought it was because we had taken a very strenuous two hour hike in the Laguna Canyon last Sunday. I have been having blinding headaches. The worst headaches I have ever had. I'm getting them early in the morning and they are waking me up. Who ever heard of a headache that wakes you up? I haven't. I thought they might be hormone related. I have been doing a lot of "thinking" this week about why I have been having these physical discomforts. Well, I was completely wrong. About all of them. You see, I went to see a Nephrologist on Wednesday. He asked me some questions about my health and past history. A lot of questions. He looked at the results from the urologist and he did an exam. His diagnosis? Extemely high blood pressure(dangerously high) and some form of kidney disease. He isn't sure which kind, or how severe, but he says I definitely have it. Not "maybe". Not "Let's do more tests to see if you do." He said "You have kidney disease." No ifs, ands, or buts about it. I have all of the symptoms.
1. Changes in urination. Check.
2. Swelling. Check.
3. Fatigue. Check
4. Itching. Check.
5. Metallic taste in mouth. Check. (This is actually listed as a side effect on one of the medications I am taking)
6. Nausea. Check.
7. Shortness of breath. Check.
8. Feeling Cold. Check.
9. Dizziness and trouble concetrating. Check Check.
10. Flank pain. Check.

So I have all of the above symptoms. And some of them I have been having for quite some time. He scheduled me for a kidney ultrasound(which I had today), and a bunch of blood/urine tests. I am doing the blood tomorrow, but have to wait on the urine until I'm off of my period. I have to collect a sample of my urine over a twenty four-hour period. Yippee. I might sound quite calm as I sit here typing this, but believe me, this is seriously freaking me out. Seriously.
Freaking. Me. Out. I have spent the last two days either popping Xanax and trying not to hyperventilate, or crying my eyes out. Neither is helping. Typing "kidney disease", "kidney failure", and "dialysis" into Google has not helped me either. It has, in fact, made it considerably worse. Joe has banned me completely from visiting any more medical websites. Don't tell him I had to visit one to type the above symptoms. The fear I am feeling is paralyzing. These are serious life-threatening conditions. The doctor told me I have to lose weight immediately. I have to cut salt out of my diet. I have to exercise every day. Do you know how difficult these orders are for me? Unfortunately weight does not just melt off of me. I have to work very hard at it, and it is slow. There is salt in EVERYTHING. Ice cream has salt. Cereal has salt. Low fat granola bars have salt. Even Pop Tarts have salt in them! (Not that I'll be eating any of those!) Furthermore, do you know how hard it is to exercise when your back hurts so bad you can hardly stand upright? So I am laying here on the couch with the computer propped on my stomach typing this and trying not to cry. And failing miserably. I can't even go into how this affects the adoption. If this turns out to be serious enough, it could put it off indefinitely. China certainly isn't going to give one of their children to someone whose kidneys are failing. I can't even entertain the thought. If you pray, please, please pray that this turns out to be something treatable and non life-threatening. Please.


Stacey Teague said...

Hey Michelle,
Welcome back, I missed you !!!! Also, I'm praying for you girl!!!! Seriously!!! Praying hard!

Tracy said...

I'm glad you are back and I am sorry for your news. I did want to say though, he said you have kidney disease and NOT kidney failure. Don't put your horse before the cart. Hopefully they caught it early and there are tons of really great medications. Dialysis is a last step and one they don't do lightly. Your kidneys are still functioning (otherwise even your Primary care doctor would have known what was wrong). About the salt issue. Buy anything that says low salt/sodium and throw away your salt shaker. That includes the one you would season your food while you are cooking. You would be amazed at how much less salt you will be consuming if you just don't salt your foods. Ask for everything with no salt when you go out. I am a nurse educator and we talk to people with diabetes (many have kidney failure) and heart patients that have to severely limit their salt. This is doable. Take it in baby steps. You might want to look into water aerobics, it's good exercise and low impact.

I hope I didn't just overstep myself there. I just wanted you to know that this doable and you are lucky that they are looking for the cause and that your primary care doctor didn't just ignore the warning signs and think you were fine because of your age.

I had ovarian cancer/hysterectomy at the age of 28. I was scared to death, but I made it and I was able to go on and adopt. You will have a family one day, I just know you will.


Glo said...

Prayer ...You have my prayers. Your Dr has my prayers. He sounds like he is right on top of things, and will probably take excellent care of you. Please do your best to follow his instructions and your disease will be very treatable. Maybe hubby could come alongside with the exercise AND to some degree a change in diet for him is only going to help him in the end as well. One day at a time. One test result at a time. You can do this, starting right now.

Gracencameronsmomy said...

Oh my gosh! I hope everything is Ok! I'll call you!

Shelli said...

I'll be thinking about you!

Lisa & Jeff said...

I'm sending some good thoughts your way.


M3 (Mary-Mia) said...

Wow, sending you tons of good thoughts! How frightening. It sounds like Tracy has some great advice. Hang in there!

Kim said...

Hang in there and know that we're all here to support you! I'll be praying for you.


Kristin said...

michelle, i am just catching up... hang in there!!